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Paul W. Bell, superintendent of the Dade County, Fla., public schools, died Oct. 16 at a Miami hospital of a heart arrhythmia. He was 57.

The 31-year veteran of the nation's fourth-largest district succeeded Joseph A. Fernandez when he became New York City's school chancellor at the end of 1989.

"Paul Bell devoted his life to education and to children," Mr. Fernandez said in a statement. "I know Paul will be missed by the Dade County schools, the city of Miami, and the entire education community."

Mr. Bell, who had a history of heart problems, including two bypass operations, had a cardiac seizure on the way to his doctor's office the day before he died.

A tribute to Mr. Bell was held at Miami Senior High School the day after his death. Tee S. Greer Jr., the deputy superintendent who assumed Mr. Bell's duties, ordered all American flags at district schools to fly at half-staff for the remainder of the week.

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